Police officers should be held to a higher standard than the average citizen. They have the power to take away your liberty, property, and life. There are many fine police officers in Jacksonville, Florida that want to make our city streets safe. There are also officers that abuse their immense power.
In 2003, three JSO officers were involved in abducting, robbing, and murdering Jacksonville resident, Sammi Safar. One of the officers worked off-duty at a Westside bank. He noticed that Safar made large cash transactions at the bank. These police officers pulled Safar over in, what looked like, a normal traffic stop. He was taken to R.L. Brown Elementary School where he was strangled in a police car by Karl Waldon.
Karl Waldon is serving life in the United States Penitentiary in Pollock, Louisiana.
Aric Sinclair is serving 17 years and 7 months in Federal Correctional Institution in Loretto, PA.
Jason Pough was sentenced to 5 years in prison and has been released.
In 2007, JSO officer, “Happy Cop” John Hairston, was convicted and sentenced for theft while on-duty. He was investigated because there were many reports that he kept money he found on drug dealers he pulled over while on duty. Police and FBI set up a sting and Hairston stole $3400.00 of bait money.
John Hairston was sentenced to 6 months and has now been released.
In 2008, JSO officer Shawn Pringle, while on-duty, committed sexual battery (rape). He was convicted of sexual battery and unlawful compensation. Shawn Pringle is serving 3 years in prison.
The one crime that a Jacksonville police officer has never been charged with is perjury. Under Florida law, if you make a false statement you know is untrue under oath in an official proceeding, like trial, you are facing up to 5 years in prison. Also, the officer’s Arrest and Booking Report is a sworn affidavit that is notarized. Every officer who writes this report is swearing that its contents are true and correct.
With tremendous power comes tremendous responsibility. Let’s hope that Jacksonville police officers tell the truth, not just under oath, but always.